NewsLocal7,761 asylum seekers registered in Cyprus in 2018

7,761 asylum seekers registered in Cyprus in 2018

A total of 7,761 asylum seekers registered in Cyprus in 2018, close to double the 4,582 who registered in 2017, according to Interior Ministry figures published by Phileleftheros.

The majority were Syrian, followed by citizens from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Last year, refugee status was given to 191 individuals (123 cases), international protection status was given to another 1011 individuals (693 cases) while 1260 individuals (1196 cases), were rejected.

The case of 50 individuals  (47 cases) closed while 699 individuals (610 cases) withdrew their application.

Asylum seekers who are rejected by the asylum service have the tight to appeal to the review authority and/or the administrative court. If the courts reject the application, then the individual must leave Cyprus.

Asylum applicants have the right to free movement within the government controlled areas and access to the labour market one month after the application but only in specific sectors. They also have the right to access to education, health services and clothing, food and housing through financial aid.

They receive a fixed sum depending on the size of the family —  coupons of €300 for food and clothing for a three member family and a rent allowance of €150 and an additional €130 for utilities bringing the total to €580.

Four member families or bigger receive €735.

There is one reception facility for asylum seekers in Kophinou with a capacity of about 400.

Irregular migrants are taken to the temporary centre at Kokkinotrimithia for medical tests and statements to the police as to how they came to Cyprus, and if they want to apply for international protection. There they are accommodated in tents which have electric heating, three meals a day, clothing and shoes, access to the internet etc, Phileleftheros added.

During 2018, a total of  1100  individuals were accommodated at Kokkinotrimithia – according to unofficial figures 600 men, 170 women and 330 children. Of these 50 were unaccompanied. They were placed under the supervision of the Welfare Services and housed in shelters and homes.

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